Re: our own insurance
From: Elph Morgan (
Date: Wed, 8 Jul 2009 06:17:13 -0700 (PDT)
Yes, our general insurance policy on all our property and liability is
through State Farm and costs $10k annually for $2 million in coverage. We
are organized as a condo.

We have had one water damage claim for about $8k of which we paid a $2500
deductible. The process around managing the paperwork and paying the
contractors was somewhat onerous. We're still not sure whether we were
properly reimbursed for all the costs.

A State Farm regulator did a site visit and decided that the children's room
loft did not look well enough supported and should have more supporting
beams and that the four units with 2nd floor doors without back decks needed
to have decks built. The children's room deck was contractor built well
beyond basic safety standards and we got a letter stating that. They lost
the letter. We pointed out that the back doors had been disabled at move-in
and could not open into the void. Not good enough - they wanted us to build
decks. We pointed out that we could barricade the doors from the outside
with deck railing. Not good enough. This went on for a while and then got
quiet. Until they sent our agent a letter that they were canceling our
insurance in 60 days. But they were willing to accept the railings outside
the back doors. So we had that done and had another contractor letter
written about the loft. Then they sent us a 30 day cancellation letter.
Followed a week later by a letter saying nevermind, oh, and please be sure
to pay your premium on time. That was kind of frustrating.

Compelling reasons for change:
Cost, Service, and a measure of Common Sense

I'm thinking we can build an insurance fund within cohousing that has the
capacity to insure for better coverage at lesser premiums and have better

Great Oak Cohousing
Ann Arbor Michigan

On Tue, Jul 7, 2009 at 11:00 PM, Larry Miller <larry.miller [at]>wrote:

> Perhaps you could better explain the problem.  Oak Creek Commons has a
> general insurance policy on our common facilities and our condo units. Each
> owner then has condo homeowners insurance. We have gotten bids from several
> companies.
> How are you organized (legally) and what precisely is the problem?
> Larry Miller
> Oak Creek Commons
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Elph Morgan [mailto:elph [at]]
> Sent: Tuesday, July 07, 2009 4:50 PM
> To: Cohousing-L
> Subject: [C-L]_ our own insurance
> I've just had a run-in with our insurance company that got me thinking that
> there has to be a better way.
> I'll spare you the inane, bureaucratic, lacking in any measure of common
> sense story and move straight to the question: Has anyone looked at what it
> would take to insure ourselves for general catastrophic and liability?
> I'm interested in looking into it. In my brief research it seems to have
> some potential. I think we could create a viable business that could meet
> our needs, reduce our costs, provide even better service, and do it in a
> way
> that did not increase our risk.
> Anyone want to throw fuel or water on my fire? What do you think?
> -elph
> Great Oak Cohousing
> Ann Arbor Michigan
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